You may have seen them in your neighborhood. The influx of pop-up Halloween mega stores is in full force. Some New Yorkers have even expressed their excitement for the upcoming ghoulish holiday by dressing up early. Just yesterday, I came across a miniature Buzz Lightyear in Union Square and last week Dorothy, yes THE Dorothy, was handing out fliers on voter registration. There’s a renewed energy on the streets of New York City and its name is Halloween.
I’m going to go out on a limb and claim Halloween as my favorite holiday. An excuse to dress up in wild costumes, sip (chug) alcohol to our liver’s content, creepy decorations, pumpkin carvings and of course candy corn. I ask you, really, what’s not to love about this holiday? However, in the recent years I’ve noticed a change in myself when it comes to Halloween. Long gone are my college days when Halloween was a true institution comprised of weeklong celebrations and five outfit changes. Now it’s more than enough for me to go out and celebrate for one night wearing one costume. And so finally, that’s where my rant leads us. The costume, the most important factor to any good Halloween. While for me, what I wear is still important, I’ve noticed a change. My Halloween costume is starting to show my age.
I’ve worn my share of impressive Halloween costumes. There was the year I was the Sexy Sailor, I’ve been a Sexy Librarian, one year I partied as the Sexy Referee, and yes I’ve even adorned a Sexy Dorothy costume. Are we seeing a pattern here? Much like many of my peers, for years being sexy was crucial when it came to my Halloween attire. As long as my costume was a sexy interpretation of some character, I was happy. However, recently that’s not so much the case. While yes, my costume must be for a lack of a better term, awesome; sexy is not on my priority list. What does this mean I’ve asked myself? This can’t possibly suggest I’m getting older does it?
Last year my girlfriends and I dressed as Charlie’s Angels, an easy decision as we each bare the essential hair color. We wore our tightest flares and 70s-inspired peasant tops. We tried our best to accomplish the Farrah Fawcett hair and made it our mission to perfect the Charlie’s Angels pose. We were more than satisfied with our look but we all realized one crucial difference. We were all completely covered up. From head to toe each of us were actually properly dressed. My one Angel-friend commented that last year she “wore more clothing than ever before on Halloween.” As New York experienced an unseasonable snowstorm last Halloween we were quite grateful, but what had changed we asked ourselves. Does our lack of sexiness and increase in clothing represent something bigger?
This year I am dressing as the great American Gladiator. I will adorn more sweatbands than necessary, tease my hair and do my best to represent these legendary 80s American athletes. Pulling together odds and ends including a $15 wrestling uniform and homemade jousting stick, cost-efficiency is my priority this year. Long gone are the days of shelling out $80 bucks for a sexy firefighter outfit. Now second-hand clothing and DIY projects make up my Halloween gear.
When writing this I asked my friend and fellow Halloween devotee what does she consider when choosing her Halloween costume. She laughed and said “honestly a few years ago, slutty. Now, comfortable but fun.” She quickly added, “Wait does that mean I’m old?!”
But here’s the thing friends. We’re not old we’re just not 18 anymore and honestly, I’m relieved. I don’t miss wearing skimpy outfits and freezing on the streets as I try my best to look sexy. I don’t miss spending far too much money on a costume I wear for only a few hours. This year I plan on representing American Gladiators to the fullest with jousting stick in tow because I will always look forward to this night where I gather with my friends to celebrate all that is scary. But of course most importantly, for me Halloween will always be about finding one hell of a costume.